General Air Impact Wrench Compressor Requirements
There are lots of uncertainties out there about selecting the ideal size air compressor for running your air tools. Basically, there are few air impact wrench compressor requirements to look at when choosing the right air compressor for your garage or shop.
These air impact wrench compressor requirements let you decide which one is best suited for your needs. There are few considerations:
- Power rating (Horse power)
- Pounds per Square Inch (PSI)
- Cubic Feet per Minute (CFM)
- Tank Size (Litres)
The first criterion is the air compressor’s horse power (Hp) rating. Many assume that the higher HP, the better the air compressor is. Thus, all HP ratings are not created equal and can easily be misrepresented. If your plan on using your air compressor for smaller jobs like air brushing or pumping up tyres then an 1.5 hp compressor should get the job done.
Another thing to consider is the PSI which stands out for pounds per square inch. Most air impact wrench compressors require 90 PSI in order to work correctly. Hence, you will still need an air compressor with a higher shut-off pressure. Generally, such compressors shut off at 100 PSI but don’t forget about pressure loss in the line. You will find that most air tools will operate best between the sweet spot of 80 – 100 PSI. Most small workshop compressors beween 1.5 hp and 3 hp generally will produce between 120 and 150 PSI. So in this case air pressure should not be a problem. If the PSI drops as the tank empties it could indicate that the compressor is underpowered for the work you are doing.
Other air impact wrench compressor requirements that you need to consider before buying is CFM which stands for cubic feet per minute. Different air tools require different volumes of free air to work correctly. If you don’t know about free air it is measured using CFM or Cubic Feet per minute. This is the amount of compressed air that will need to pass through the tool per minute for it to work. So its clear that the air compressors output must at least match a air tools required CFM.
Lastly, the tank size is the final factor to consider. Tank size is normally stated in US gallons. For an instance, 30 gallon is a regular tank size. First, don’t be confused about having a large tank which do you think has more time for your air tools. If you will use impact wrench compressor intermittently, a large tank is fine. Thus, if you need a continuous use, you will need a small tank with big enough motor and pump.
What happens when an air compressor is not suitable? Well as you operate the tool you will find the the performance of the tool gets worse with the drop off in air pressure.
Another consideration is ensuring that the power source is suitable for the compressor your interested in, will it run of a socket in the house or will it need a larger supply.
Different types of Air Compressors
There are various air compressor types. Here are the three most common:
- Direct Drive Portable Compressors
- Super Silent Portable Compressor
- Belt Drive Portable Compressor
Direct Drive Portable Compressors
You will find that one of the more popular types of entry level compressors are the Direct Drive Portable models. Key features:
- Generally the least expensive type of compressor
- Used for smaller jobs such as air brushing, inflating tyres and spray painting with a gravity gun
- Available in power ratings between 1.5 hp to 3 hp
- Between 20 to 50 litre tanks
- maximum of 10 CFM
Super Silent Portable Compressor
- If you want a quiter compressor because you dont want to annoy your neighbours or the compressor is going to be used in places such a dental practice then you may opt for a Super Silencer machine.
- Quieter then direct drive compressor
- Perfect for short jobs with small tools
- limited power due to there size with between 1 hp to 1.5 hp
- maximum of 4 CFM
Belt Drive Portable Compressor
- Belt driven compressors are used in the main by tradesmen such as auto mechanis due to them being more suitable for heavier use such as air impact wrenches, spray guns and other workshop tools.
- They will generally be more robust then direct drive compressors and tend to have a longer live due to operating at slower speeds.
- Available power ratings between 2 and 4 hp.
- large air tanks fro 50 upto 200 litres
- Typical air delivery of between 8 and 14 CFM
If the motor and pump are powerful enough, you should not run out of air. You can save bucks by likely buying an air impact wrench compressor with a large tank and smaller motor for intermittent use. You will need a more heavy duty air compressor if you are running your air tool constantly.